Organic Certification

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations (USDA).

Certified organic food in the United States is grown according to standards set by the National Organic Program.

According to those standards, organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. 

Before a product can be labeled "organic," a USDA accredited certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified and inspected also.

One of the best sites for information can be found at the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service web site: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/organcert.html

Although most organic producers and processors in New Jersey are certified by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, there are other certifying options.  The full list can be found here:  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5074486

Some certifiers in our area include:

  • New Jersey Department of Agriculture .http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/jerseyorganic.html The New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Organic Certification Program has a series of Guidance Documents production (farming) and handling (food processing) clients can use to learn about some of the requirements found in 7 CFR, Part 205, the National Organic Program; Final Rule. Guidance Documents explain what is required by or what is meant by a specific regulation within the rule. Often, specific requirements NJDA may have for their clients to document or verify compliance with a particular rule can be found within the Guidance Documents.  If you have any questions about or recommended changes to any of the Guidance Documents please e-mail or mail at: 369 S. Warren St., P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625-0330  Contact: Erich Bremer, Phone: 609-984-2225, Fax: 609-341-3212  erich.bremer@ag.state.nj.us
  • NOFA—New York, LLC  840 Upper Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905  Contact: Carol A. King/Lisa Engelbert  Phone: 607-724-9851 E-mail: certifiedorganic@nofany.org Scope: crop, livestock, handling
  • Natural Food Certifiers  119A South Main Street, Spring Valley, New York 10977 Contact: Reuven Flamer Phone: 914-438-0976 or 888-422-4632  E-mail: info@nfccertification.com  Scope: crop, livestock, wild crop, handling
  • Pennsylvania Certified Organic  106 School Street, Suite 201, Spring Mills, PA 16875 Contact: Leslie Zuck Phone: 814-422-0251 Fax: 814-422-0255 E-mail: leslie@paorganic.org  Website: www.paorganic.org  Scope: crop, livestock, wild crop, handling
  • BloGlobal Organic Alliance was established in 1997 and maintains ISO 65 and USDA/NOP accreditation and verifies compliance to EEC 2092/91 Regulation http://www.goa-online.org/index.html